The 3 Best Dating Sites and Apps in the Netherlands

Netherlands is dominated by a handful of dating sites and apps (I’ll go into detail on these below). There are a lot of apps and websites out there that claim to specialize in Netherlands online dating, but there are really only a couple which will be worth your time.

Here is the quick list of my top three dating sites in the Netherlands. I’ll go into more detail in my reviews below.

  1. Lexa
  2. Badoo
  3. Parship
netherlands_model_wendy-kristy_hoogerbrugge

Netherlands Model – Wendy Kristy Hoogerbrugge (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

If you can, try to stay in one of the four most populous Dutch cities: Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague and Utrecht. These cities are where the singles tend to congregate and will give you the highest chance for dating success.

By the way, you might be wondering, why didn’t Tinder make this list? Tinder is extremely popular in Amsterdam (as well as other cities around the Netherlands). However, I have found that it is more geared towards short-term hookups rather than long term relationships.

With that said, I do recommend you download Tinder because it has such a large user base. Who knows? You might be able to find a diamond in the rough.

Dutch Beauty Queen Kim Kotter

Dutch Beauty Queen Kim Kotter (source: Wikimedia Commons)

1. Lexa

Lexa.nl is the best online dating site in the Netherlands.The site is a member of the international Meetic network and is the largest, most popular Dutch dating website.

Lexa was started in 2002 and currently has over 1.6 million members. As a Meetic network member, Lexa has the same polished website and solid features as Match.com and other Meetic sites.

lexa_nl

Lexa

A premium membership is needed to do anything on the site beyond browsing/searching members. This membership is automatically renewed (with no reminder emails), and you’ll need to actually be in the Netherlands to sign up.

Sign up Process

To create a profile, enter your gender, match gender, birthday, username, password, and email address. You are now free to use the rest of the site.

Completing your profile consists of 9 pages of questions about your personality, lifestyle, appearance and interests, and what your ideal partner looks and acts like. These questions took me about 20 minutes to complete.

You can also add your favorite movies, songs and books to your profile by searching in the Screenrush, Last.fm and WorldCat directories.

How to Locate Potential Matches

Lexa gives you two options for finding potential matches:

  1. Search
  2. Shuffle

Search includes basic and advanced. Advanced is your typical search feature, giving you different options for filtering out profiles you aren’t interested in. Basic includes a 5 quick searches for you to choose from: Born on the same day as me, it’s their birthday, Perfect matches, Reverse matches and Mutual matches.

Shuffle is another feature you’ve probably seen before: you are shown random profiles, one-by-one, liking some and passing on others, and you are notified when both you and the other user “like” each other.

How to Communicate with Other Members

Free members are limited to the ubiquitous “flirt”.  Flirts are pretty self-explanatory, just a basic “wink”-like feature that lets someone know you exist and are interested in them.

Sometimes you’ll get lucky and the recipient will reply back with a message, but usually you’re going to have to follow up with an actual message.

To send a message, truly contact another member, you’ll have to first upgrade to a paid, premium membership. Once you’ve done so, you can also start a live chat or add them to your favorites. Both messages and the chat feature are text only, with no audio or video options available.

Unique Site Features

When creating your profile on Lexa you have the unique option of creating a quiz for profile visitors to take. This is a fun and effective way to test your compatibility with other users. You can choose up to 20 questions, out of a list of 100 or so, or create your own.

Sample questions include “Tech House Ibiza or a classical concert?” and “Could you leave everything behind because you’re in love?”

What is Included in Each Membership Level

  • Free – Create a profile, upload a photo, search/browse/Watch profiles, receive messages, send messages to Connect members, use Shuffle limited
  • Premium – Send and read messages and IM chats, access mobile app, see who has visited or favorited you, special discounts on Lexa events, ad-free browsing
  • Extras:
    • Incognito Mode – Invisible browsing
    • Boost – Boost your profile, advanced placement in search results, extended communication options

2. Badoo

Badoo

Badoo

Badoo is a social networking app that aims to match singles based on appearance and profile. Similar to Tinder in some respects, Badoo allows you to navigate your way through different singles and reach out to those you want to become better acquainted with, whether it be for friendship or more. Its Encounter game allows you to click Yes or No on other matches based on their picture.

Badoo actually started on Facebook as a quiz and game platform, but eventually became its own separate social networking app. Badoo has seen its biggest activity among young adults just out of college and is more notorious for friendships and flings. It tries to make its identity and separate itself from other dating apps by not calling itself a dating app, but rather a social networking app designed for matching singles up.

Sign up Process

All you need to sign up is a social media account and phone number that you can link to the app and go through the simple verification process. Once your account has been verified, a blue check mark will appear below your picture.

As you register, you need basic information such as first name, birthday, city, gender, and your purpose of being on the site (i.e. friendship, dating, chatting). Once you upload your photo or skip that step for later, you’re ready to start searching for love or friendship. You don’t need to complete any long personality tests like you see on eHarmony.

The photo verification process on Badoo is quite strict compared to other dating apps. With the increase in fake profiles over the years, Badoo has been known to flag profiles if they can’t confirm a photo to be legitimate.

It’s best to sign up for an account first, get accustomed to the site and browse around, and then upload your photo later. Make sure you meet all the requirements of the photo verification process, because if it fails and it is flagged, you are locked out of your account and could be kicked off the app completely. You can also upload videos to your profile to make it more attractive.

How to Locate Potential Matches

Using the filter option in settings, you can control who you can search for as far as geographical region, age, gender, and what you’re specifically looking for, whether it be dating or friendship or random hookups. You can search People nearby, and Badoo will show you singles that are within your radius.

By playing “Encounters”, you can choose whether you like someone or not based on their picture. It’s easy to use and good for those members who want to go quickly through the different profiles and pictures. You can either click a heart if you like them, or a red x if you’re not interested. If you and someone else mutually like each other, you will be instantly notified and can begin messaging each other.

You need to have an open mind with Badoo. Because it’s not popular in many regions, setting strict filters on your searches can result in not many results showing up. The part I like about it is the fact it’s not complex and strict with its settings as many other apps are, but in many regions, there are not a lot of people to match up with.

How to Communicate with Other Members

When you play Encounters, you are able to go through profiles one by one with the option of liking a match or not. When you both mutually like each other, you will be able to contact each other. You don’t need a premium account in order to send a message to your match. You can also search random profiles of those in your area. If you want to learn more about them than just their picture, click on their profile name and it will show you other information about the person.

What separates Badoo from other dating apps is that you can still message someone even if they don’t like you back. Most all other apps require a mutual match; however, with Badoo you are given two options to reach out to someone and make your case for why they should talk to you. After two messages, if they haven’t responded, you are restricted from sending out any more messages to them.

Badoo Live is another cool feature that allows users to post live videos and even video chat with other matches. It’s also a beneficial way to verify that the user you are talking to is real. After all, with so many fake accounts out there today, live video chatting can eliminate that.

Unique App Features

We mentioned a few of the features already, but here are some features that enhance the experience on Badoo:

  • If you want to know exactly where you rate with looks and your profile, you can receive a profile score. The higher your score, the more visible your profile will be to other matches.
  • Badoo has a “Look-a-like” feature. This means if you like a particular match, Badoo will show you similar matches that look just like that person and are similar in profile.
  • You can like other profiles and be notified when someone else likes your profile. As soon as they like it, it would be a good idea to shoot them a message.
  • Besides the Encounters game, you can also send gifts to other members that you are interested in.
  • You can favorite other users and vice-versa. This way if you like a lot of different users, you can separate the ones you like most by making them a favorite.

What is Included in Each Membership Level

Many of the services on Badoo are free, but there are a few services that only come with a premium membership. Here are a few of the things that come with a premium membership:

  • The ability to see who likes you
  • See who has put you on their favorites list
  • Chat with new users before anyone else can
  • Get boosts so your profile shows up in searches first
  • Undo and rewind a vote on Encounters
  • Browse the site anonymously

The biggest negative on Badoo is really its popularity. If you don’t live in a populated region, the search around you may come up empty. That said, you get a lot out of Badoo, much of it for free without having to pay for a membership.

I really like the Encounters game; it’s easy and sets you up with others quickly, similar to Tinder. Design-wise, it could use an upgrade as the dashboard is a bit cluttered and confusing, and it feels a lot like Facebook when you use it at times. 

Overall, Badoo is worth a try.

3. Parship

parship_nl

Parship Dating Site

Parship.nl is the Dutch version of the popular dating website of Parship and is the second best dating site in the Netherlands. It was launched in 2001 in Germany, but went on to become an international site in 2002. The site has grown over the years and is now used in many European countries including England, France, Italy, and more.

Parship is for people who are looking for serious relationships, and it has a great matching system for its users. The sign-up process is long and includes a personality test that is used to create compatible matches. While some don’t like the time consuming process, I enjoyed the test, and this one really nails it.

If you are searching for a serious romantic relationship and live in the Netherlands, this is the site for you.

Sign Up Process

The process starts by gathering basic information like your gender, what gender you are searching for, your email, and a password. Next comes the Parship Principal, a questionnaire that takes up to one hour to complete. The test is mostly comprised of multiple choice questions but does have some interesting sections that have you choose your preference between two images, and other unusual questions.

The test is a great way to weed out those who aren’t seriously looking for a relationship. Surprisingly, after completing the test, you will find you are only about a third of the way to completing your profile.

How to Locate Potential Matches

What makes Parship different from its competitors is its lack of a search feature. You can see who is online, who logged in last, you can even filter your matches using some basic information, but the site gives you matches instead of allowing you to search for them.

This is where the lengthy personality test you took is used. Your results are compared to other users, and you receive a compatibility score for each of these matches.

When you start looking at the matches Parship sends you, most of them will include blurry pictures. Users must give specific consent for others to access their photos, or you must upgrade to the premium membership to see photos that have been made public.

You are also not given names with the profile. The site just gives you their occupation. You’ll need to take notes or even establish nicknames so you can tell them apart.

How to Communicate with Other Members

You won’t be allowed to contact other members on Parship until you have completed at least half of your profile. Once that is done, you are allowed to add other members to your favorites list, share your pictures, send them a compliment by clicking the thumbs up button, a smiley face, an “icebreaker” (this is actually just a short multiple choice questionnaire) or a short text message.

Unique Site Features

Though matching systems on dating sites is nothing new, Parship uses an impressive system that is backed by 40 years of research. The test was created by a professor at Hamburg University.

If you upgrade to the premium membership, you are allowed full access to your test results which includes a long psychological evaluation. Even as a free member, there was a lot of information given to me. I was able to read through my test results and learned what kind of partner I should be looking for and what I am like in a relationship.

What is Included in Each Membership Level

  • Standard – Create profile, view summary of personality report, reply to messages from premium members, see profiles
  • Premium Lite – View released photos, unlimited communication
  • Premium Classic – Also includes the Contact Guarantee
  • Premium Comfort – Same as Classic except a longer, cheaper subscription

Further Reading

  • Worldwide Online Dating Site Reviews: Be sure to check out my country-by-country reviews of the best online dating sites in the world.

  • Worldwide Moving Guide: Everything you need to know in order to plan your move to 65+ countries around the world.

  • Worldwide Jobs Guide: If you are interested in working in this country, be sure to check out my posts on how to find jobs in this country and other countries around the world.

  • Worldwide Apartments Guide: If you are interested in renting an apartment in another country, take a look at my articles on how to find an apartment in various countries around the world.

About Addison Sears-Collins

Hey! I'm Addison Sears-Collins, the founder of Visa Hunter. You can learn more about me here. Connect with me by liking my fan page on Facebook, connecting with me on Twitter, or check out my website Automatic Addison where I build robots and embedded systems.

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